invenioLSI in partnership with Deep-Insighthave built a world class customer experience program with the goal to grow their customer relationships by listening, understanding, and acting on their feedback. Deep-Insight specialize in B2B Customer Experience (CX) and have worked with invenioLSI for the past three years, using their Customer Relationship Quality (CRQ™) methodology to allow invenioLSI to get a holistic understanding of both the current health and the future trajectory of their customer partnerships.
invenioLSI has been accelerating its growth at a phenomenal pace. With one of their core values being ‘Customer Focus’ the company hopes to continue this growth and strengthen customer relationships to further fulfill this focus and deliver greater value for end users. By deploying customer feedback surveys across all global regions invenioLSI not only got holistic view of their customers perceptions but also were able to drill down by specific customers to create customized communication and action plans to address their customer’s unique needs.
We are delighted that customers continue to highlight that Customer Focus and Strength of Staff is an area that invenioLSI excels in. For each customer invenioLSI has also listened to areas for improvement and are making it their mission to deliver even better support and services in the coming months and for 2023.
Supporting efforts to improve customer relationship quality is something I believe is an essential part of running a company. From listening to customer’s feedback, you discover your strengths as an organization and areas for improvement. Just as important as listening is also acting. Therefore, invenioLSI is dedicated to coming up with a unique action plan for each customer to address specific survey results. – Nader Tirandazi, CEO invenioLSI
Deep-Insight have partnered with invenioLSI for over 3 years and in this time invenioLSI have shown real dedication to listening to their customers, building a culture of customer throughout the organisation, and evolving to meet changing customer needs. invenioLSI are not chasing a number when they ask their customers for feedback. They have continuously evolved their CX approach to widen who is included, both at a customer and individual level and they use this feedback to take action and drive business strategy. – Rose Murphy, COO Deep-Insight
invenioLSI is the largest independent SAP solutions provider serving the Public Sector as well as offering specialist skills in the media and entertainment sector. We bring deep expertise combined with the advanced technologies to enable organizations to modernize so they can run at the speed of today’s business.
We know how to navigate the extraordinary complexities of international businesses and public sector organizations, working with stakeholders to drive change and create agile organizations of tomorrow using the technologies of today.
Deep-Insight is a leading EuropeanB2B Customer Experience (CX) company founded in 2000 by a small team of ‘magicians’ with one goal: researching a way to read customers’ minds.
Today, Deep-Insight supports customers all over the world with the skills, tools and methodologies to help you operate world-class CX and EX programmes and transform your organisation.
Last month, we asked our clients what they thought of us. We do this every year and take our Customer Relationship Quality (CRQ) feedback seriously. We try to follow the advice we give to our own clients: give your customers the opportunity to tell you what they think. Listen to what they say. Then act on their feedback.
As we did last year, we cast the net for our 2022 CRQ assessment quite wide. We didn’t just limit the survey to a handful of key decision makers in current clients. We included many operational and administrative contacts. Their views are equally important. We also asked dormant customers what they thought of us.
Last year, you said…
The main message that you gave us last year – actually for the last two years – was that you needed more than just a survey provider. In practice, that meant providing more assistance AFTER your customers gave their feedback. You needed a partner that could help you deliver meaningful change across your whole organisation. You also wanted us to be more flexible and supportive.
We listened, and here are three of the things we did in response to your feedback.
1. Deliver more than just a survey
We have always strived to be more than just a survey company. Our mission is to help companies become truly customer-centric. Getting customer and employee feedback is part of that process, but there’s much more to it than launching a survey. That’s why we completely redesigned the way we work with clients, based on what you said to us.
Today we spend a lot more time with leadership teams and sales or account teams both BEFORE we think about asking our customer’s clients for their views as well as AFTER they give their feedback. The BEFORE piece is critical and must be done properly. If you don’t invest the time up-front, your CX (or EX) programme will not deliver the results that Management and the Board expect from it. More than likely, it will end in failure. It’s as simple as that.
2. Assist with Customer Relationship Quality ‘Healthchecks’
Last year we conducted CRQ ‘Healthchecks’ for clients in the UK and Ireland. The objective of a ‘Healthcheck’ is to benchmark how good a company’s Customer Experience or Customer Satisfaction programme is. That doesn’t just mean assessing if the right questions are being asked of the right people. It’s a more fundamental look at whether all the right components are in place to deliver genuine and meaningful benefits. We do this under four headings:
1. LEADERSHIP. The most important quadrant. Good Customer Excellence (CX) programmes are ALWAYS led from the top
2. STRATEGY. Good CX programmes link customer, product, operational and organisational strategy explicitly to customer needs
3. EXECUTION. Success requires properly resourced teams that are brilliant at executing the Strategy
4. CULTURE. Finally, Customer Excellence must become integral to the DNA of the organisation: “it’s how we do things around here”
All four quadrants are necessary for a successful CX programme. The ‘Hard Side’ quadrants of Strategy and Execution are all about metrics and processes. ‘Hard Side’ activities lend themselves to key performance indicators (KPIs) and while the activities in these two quadrants are important and easily measurable, the quadrants of Leadership and Culture are actually more critical.
In our experience, Leadership is the most important quadrant while Culture is the most challenging. And yet, here’s the strange thing: in most CX programmes the ‘Soft Side’ is often overlooked and almost always under-resourced.
3. Run Customer Centricity ‘Masterclasses’ for managers and leadership teams
One of the key ‘Soft Side’ challenges is making sure your entire organisation is on board with your CX (or CSat or NPS or Customer Relationship Quality) programme. Over the past 12 months, we have partnered with the world-leading HEC Business School in Paris.
That collaboration has helped us develop and deliver a ‘Masterclass’ to educate leadership teams, managers and partners about the importance and benefits of putting the customer at the heart of everything they do. The ‘Masterclass’ also helps employees understand the crucial role they play in making their companies customer-centric.
Already, these ‘Masterclasses’ have been delivered both virtually (for COVID reasons) and face-to-face to clients in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
How did we score this year?
Having made the investments over the past two years, we were very curious to get your reaction. In short, you were very generous in your responses this year.
This is the highest NPS result we have ever achieved to date and the third time we have scored over +50. Our CRQ score is also the highest we have ever achieved and we are honoured to be thought of so highly by you, our valued clients.
Result: new client wins
I honestly believe that it’s because of the trust that our clients place in Deep-Insight that we have been able to announce some great new wins in recent months.
We have a 10+ year relationship with Atos but primarily in the UK & Ireland. Earlier this year, we extended that relationship to Germany and over the next three years we will be partnering with Atos on one of their most important and strategic global accounts.
One of our largest accounts in Australia was the logistics company Toll Group. Last year our key contact at Toll moved to Scotts Refrigerated Logistics and we recently signed a new 3-year contract to help ScottsRL become one of the most customer-centric companies in Australia.
Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods is a Dutch milk powder manufacturer that operates in Barneveld, Scharsterbrug, Gorinchem and Madrid. Its 500 staff process 1.4 billion kilograms of milk each year. Over the next three years, we will be working with the Vreugdenhil leadership team to turn a company that creates great food products into a truly customer-centric organisation.
Agenda for 2022
While we’re really proud of these Customer Relationship Quality (CRQ) and NPS scores, there is more to do.
For starters, we got feedback from 48% of the people we asked to participate. While that’s not bad, we do see some room for improvement. Last year our response rate was 55%. We know that some of our clients achieve rates of 70% or more. We will be working hard to improve on this figure next year.
Second, the main feedback we received this year is that our new consulting services are great BUT not enough. Our clients are looking for Deep-Insight to provide even more support. The two customer quotes below confirm to me that we need to support clients on a year-round basis.
“Would like to see greater insight on how we can really make a difference for our customers. How do we truly address those recurring themes that come up each year? It would be great to get insight on how we can do this better – beyond the data”
“I would question to what degree on a continual basis Deep-Insight provides interaction and insight as a partner to the business. Also, to what extent there are follow-up meetings post results as you as experts help inform our response and strategy.”
Third, the feedback process is not finished yet. We need to ‘close the loop’ with all clients and discuss their specific feedback. We will be in touch shortly and will be looking specifically for more insights into any additional support needs they may have.
I need to finish off by thanking Fiona Lynch for planning, organising and running this year’s client assessment. Fiona joined us earlier this year from Atos where she was part of a global service delivery team. It’s great to have her on board.
So, well done Fiona, and thank you to all of our clients. We really do value your feedback.
Should Customer Experience and NPS Surveys be Anonymous? The simple answer is NO – anonymity is not required for a B2B CX or NPS programme.
But the answer is not that simple. Let’s start by defining what Confidential and Anonymousmean in the context of surveys. This may sound obvious, but I have been amazed at the number of times I have needed to discuss this:
ANONYMOUS: No person or application can associate the answers you give with any identifiable information about you CONFIDENTIAL: Any identifiable information about you will be held confidentially, and stored in an appropriately secure manner OPTIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY: Any identifiable information about you will be held confidentially, and stored in an appropriately secure manner unless you specify that you would like to be identified (in other words, you decide to waive your right to confidentiality)
So for the rest of this blog, I am not longer going to dwell on anonymity. It’s simply not needed.
Confidentiality – now that’s a different matter
In any setting, when a third party asks for your opinion about someone, confidentiality is important to ensure a really open and honest response. In personal relationships this goes without saying but in the B2B world this is also true. It’s especially true if your staff are doing what you need them to be doing – building strong and personal relationships with clients.
Of course, many of your customers will indeed give you an honest response regardless of whether it is confidential or not. But many won’t. Cultural differences will mean this statement is truer in some parts of the world than others. However, regardless of where your customers live, there will always be those who will not respond, or who may not be as open as you would like them to be, unless their responses remain confidential.
This example is an actual Deep-Insight client.
Company A ran a Customer Relationship Quality (CRQ) assessment (Survey 1) and told respondents that they had the option for their responses to remain confidential. Six months later Company A ran the survey again, but this time told respondents the option to remain confidential was removed.
The impact on their average Net Promoter Scores (remember NPS is a measure of advocacy on a 0 to 10 scale) was as follows:
Individuals’ responses in Survey 1
Completion Rate (Survey 2)
Average NPS (Survey 1)
Average NPS (Survey 2)
Chose confidentiality (did not share details)
Waived confidentiality (shared details)
For respondents who had shared their names with their responses in Survey 1, there was no significant impact. When asked to complete Survey 2, 70% did complete and only a small uptick in scores was noted (7.1 to 7.2).
However, where respondents chose to keep their feedback confidential in Survey 1, there was a much bigger impact. For starters, only 55% of these individuals chose to complete Survey 2. For those who completed Survey 2, there was also a significant increase in scores (from 6.3 to 7.5). In fact, ‘Confidential’ respondents went from scoring more poorly than average to scoring more positively than average when forced to share their details with the response.
Here’s another client of ours. Having received very high scores for several consecutive surveys, Company B decided to introduce the option of confidentiality to ensure the integrity of what it was measuring. The findings were interesting, especially for newly-included respondents:
26% of respondents opted to remain confidential overall but for newly-included respondents the figure was 38%
‘Confidential’ respondents scored more poorly than those who agreed to share their responses – but not significantly so
Newly-included respondents who opted for confidentiality scored significantly more poorly than other respondents
“…but my teams are frustrated by these unactionable ‘Confidential’ responses”
In both examples above, the organisations had good business reasons when they chose not to include confidentiality in their CX process:
Improved usefulness as an account management tool as ALL feedback is provided to account management teams
All raw data can be fully integrated with internal systems, allowing ongoing re-segmentation of responses (this is limited when responses are confidential)
But the argument that your CX or NPS programme should include ‘Optional Confidentiality’ is far stronger. If you don’t include optional confidentiality, your most unhappy customers will either not respond or will not give you a completely honest response.
This puts your entire CX or NPS programme at risk. You will end up making decisions based on inaccurate or incomplete data.
So should NPS Surveys be Anonymous? No. Should they include ‘Optional Confidentiality’? Absolutely!
“Is there any way to convince ‘Confidential’ respondents to share their details but still give an honest response?”
Maybe, but this will take time; people are people after all.
If a customer is at a point in their journey with you that they do not want to share their details, but they are willing to give feedback, that’s OK. Of course, you can explain the benefits of what you can do if they agree to share their details with you (you can address their issues more easily) but don’t push too hard. There is a trust issue here. Pushing won’t help.
You have a much better chance of convincing this customer by including them in your ‘Close the Loop’ process even though you don’t have a response from them. Over time you will gain their trust, both in the CX or NPS programme as well as in your organisation. You’ll eventually win that shared response.
Customer centricity is all about doing the right thing for the customer. Doing the right thing also means doing things right. That means service needs to be excellent. All of the time.
Actually, it’s not. The main message in my last blog about the Service Recovery Paradox was that quality is free so make sure to build quality in from the start so you do things right first time.
The Service Recovery Paradox
By the way, the Service Recovery Paradox is a well-known management concept. It states that a service failure followed by a good service recovery can lead to more loyal customers.
The only problem is that there is no compelling evidence to show that the paradox is true. In fact, the opposite is the case.
Loyalty and Repurchase Intentions do not return to a higher level after recovering well from a service failure. There is evidence to show that Satisfaction levels can end up higher than ever before if the service recovery is managed well, but customers are less likely to repurchase.
Our own experience is that this is particularly true where there are repeated service failures. Quite often, repeated failures are symptomatic of underlying issues that have never been adequately addressed. That’s why the service fails, and fails again and again.
The implications are profound. If you want to retain clients and increase revenues and profitability, you simply cannot afford repeated service failures. The good news is that service excellence is achievable for all companies. The even better news is it doesn’t cost anything but it does mean that you need to have a good quality system in place to identify, eliminate and prevent further service failures.
Quality is Really Free?
‘Quality is Free’ and ‘Right First Time’ are references to a 1979 book by Philip Crosby. Crosby was one of the founding fathers of the Total Quality Management (TQM) movement in the 1960s and 1970s. He had previously been a senior executive and Quality Director with the US manufacturing company ITT. In the early chapters of Quality Is Free he outlines the impact of the quality programme at ITT which at the time employed 350,000 people across the globe.
Crosby’s philosophy was a simple one. Rework is very expensive. It is less expensive to do it right the first time than it is to pay for rework and repairs. So focus on doing it right first time.
Much of Crosby’s work was for manufacturing companies but the principles are exactly the same for services firms. And probably more relevant. Crosby believed that manufacturing companies wasted about 20% of revenues fixing things that had been done wrong in the first place. According to Crosby, this figure could be as high as 35% in services firms.
Crosby’s Fourteen Steps
Crosby summarised his approach to quality in 14 steps. Even though they are over 40 years old, the steps are worth repeating here. They are as critical today to retaining customers as they were in 1979 when Crosby wrote ‘Quality is Free’:
Get senior management buy-in from the beginning. Leaders – particularly the CEO – must be personally committed to the quality programme. Without this, nothing will happen.
Quality Improvement Team
It’s senior management’s job to assemble a team and equip them with the right tools to make the programme work.
What gets measured gets managed. The corollary is also true. If you don’t have a measurement system, little is achieved.
Cost of Quality Evaluation
Calculate the cost of poor quality. That provides the business case for investing in quality. Remember that quality is free if the investment is lower that the cost of rework.
It’s all very well for senior management to know the cost of quality. Everybody in the company must understand it as well. Make sure they do.
This is where we start identifying and fixing problems – with products, processes, service levels.
Zero Defects Programme
Set ambitious targets for 100% quality. They may not always be achievable, but the ambition must be visible.
The concept of supervisors may be old but investment in training for management is not. And it’s critical.
Zero Defects Day
This is related to Point 7 and makes a statement that one day each year must be dedicated to ensuring that a Zero Defects ethos pervades the company.
Crosby recommends 30-day, 60-day and 90-day goals. The emphasis is on teamwork to achieve those goals.
Error Cause Removal
Ask individuals to describe any problem that prevents them from performing error-free work. Fix those problems.
Recognise and reward excellent performance. Crosby recommends that rewards for outstanding work should NOT be financial.
The purpose of these councils is to bring professionals together on a regular basis so that can share stories and best practices.
Do it Over Again
Most programmes last about 18 months before they need to be refreshed. Senior management must sustain the focus on quality so that it becomes part of the company’s DNA.
Customer Centricity = Service Excellence
At Deep-Insight, we help B2B companies become more customer-centric. By doing so, they will improve retention rates, revenues and profitability. Customer centricity is all about doing the right thing for the customer. A lot of Deep-Insight’s clients think that a core part of being customer-centric is being able to bring Innovation to the table for their customers. Service excellence is far more important.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that innovation should be ignored. It’s a hot topic in boardrooms these days. Even so, all of our experience suggests that if companies are failing to deliver the basics well, their customers have little interest in discussions about innovation.
You need to earn the right to talk about innovation. That’s why Service Excellence is critical. Consistently good service eliminates the day-to-day ‘noise’ that gets in the way of working with clients on exciting new and innovative ideas. Service excellence also helps improve customer retention rates. That’s the core message from the Service Delivery Paradox blog.
Invest in Service Excellence
Remember: service excellence first, innovation second. So do the right things, do them right and get them right first time.
Remember also that quality is free so there is no reason NOT to invest in a Service Excellence programme for your organisation. You know it makes sense.
Do contact us today if this blog sparks any ideas and you want to have a chat about improving retention rates, revenues, and profitability.
Tuesday, November 23, 2015 started out like any other day at work for James Crenson. Coffee, check email, prep documents for weekly meeting, solicit input from co-workers on slack. Um, Slack?
At 8:50am, popular workplace messaging service Slack suffered a massive outage, leaving over a million users around the world unable to send or receive messages and files for almost three hours in the middle of the workday. Angry users took to twitter and other social messaging sites to complain about the inconvenience. The situation had the potential to explode, but Slack was ready.
The team messaging tool had a solid plan in place for mass outages. A well-coordinated group effort handled support issues including a comprehensive social media blitz to contain the negative customer experience (CX). Over the few hours that the service was down, the official @SlackHQ account tweeted over 2,300 times with humorous, thoughtful, and most importantly, personalized – responses to customers complaining about the service outage.
Not only did the all-out response wow users, but @SlackHQ gained over 3,300 followers – 7x more than average – on a day that could have gone down as the worst in company history. Slack was able to quickly contain the damage, took complete responsibility, kept its customers well informed and handled a stressful situation with humor and efficiency.
Throughout this process, Slack deepened the trust of existing customers by demonstrating that the company was prepared in times of crisis. Its expert handling of a negative situation enhanced its relationships with existing customers, boosted the brand’s reputation and even served as a springboard for an expanded customer base.
This is an exceptional demonstration of the value of the phenomena known as the “service recovery paradox.”
The graphic below explains the Service Recovery Paradox.
Loyalty generally increases over time when service is delivered consistently well. It falls rapidly if there is a service failure but loyalty increases again when service is restored and the service recovery is handled well. In fact, loyalty becomes greater than if no failure had occurred in the first place. That’s the paradox.
Fact or Myth?
The Service Recovery Paradox is generally accepted as fact. But where is the evidence for it?
Some years ago, Celso Matos decided to find out. He and a couple of colleagues from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil conducted a ‘meta-analysis’ of all academic articles that discussed SRP. In total, they found 24 documented examples of recoveries following service failures. 19 of the 24 examined the impact of service recovery on satisfaction; 12 examined the impact on repurchase intentions; six looked at word of mouth (advocacy).
Their results were very interesting and not encouraging for companies with a poor service ethos.
Matos concluded that “satisfaction increases after a high service-recovery effort” but that “repurchase intentions are not increased by a high service-recovery performance.”
Service Recovery does NOT lead to greater loyalty
Matos and his colleagues explain that “customers are willing to make a positive evaluation of a firm providing a high recovery effort, but they are not likely to repatronize this firm”. They go on try to explain why this might be the case.
One explanation is that satisfied customers are not necessarily loyal. We know this from our own analysis at Deep-Insight. Another explanation is that people will give you a lot of credit for pulling out all the stops to recover a bad situation after a bad service failure. However, they will still doubt your ability to ensure no similar service failures occurs again. That’s pretty important when your 12-month or 10-year contract is coming up for renewal. They might give you good customer satisfaction (CSat) scores, but will they sign up for another contract?
In general, satisfaction levels do recover if a Service Improvement Plan (SIP) is put in place but loyalty does not. This does not mean the Slack example discussed above is not true. It just means that you need to go to extraordinary lengths to win back the trust and loyalty of clients when they experience a service failure.
It stands to reason, if you think about it. What happens when you deliver a consistently good service to a client? Their levels of trust in you and commitment to your company increase. Fail to deliver the service consistently, and their trust erodes quickly. Consistently fail to deliver, and both trust and commitment levels can disappear completely. Trust and commitment also take a very long time to rebuild.
‘Quality is Free’ so make sure to get it ‘Right First Time’
There’s a really important lesson here. Service failures are the sworn enemies of long-term profitable relationships. That’s why it’s worth investing time and effort to minimise the chances of a service failure ever happening in the first place. You may never succeed completely but it will be worth the investment. In fact, it won’t cost you anything.
This is where the old Total Quality Management (TQM) principles come into play. In 1979, Philip Crosby wrote a seminar book called Quality Is Free. His basis message was that it costs absolutely nothing to build quality into products and services. If anything, you’ll make money by reducing the cost of re-work and failed business relationships.
Quality really is free, so if you’re in the service business, make sure to get it right first time.
If you operate in the B2B world, ask yourself the question: “Is CSat the right thing to be measuring in the first place?” Maybe you should be measuring something different.